Kingdom of Blood Thirsty Rulers: Another Saudi Detainee from Qatif Executed

September 6, 2021

Kingdom of Blood Thirsty Rulers: Another Saudi Detainee from Qatif Executed

By Staff

The Saudi regime committed yet another crime against opinion prisoners from Qatif eastern province as Adnan Mostafa al-Sharfa was pronounced executed upon a decree by the kingdom’s bloodthirsty rulers.

In allegations to justify the crime, the Saudi interior ministry claimed that al-Sharfa was smuggling weapons and attacking the security forces.

The ministry’s statement mentioned that the execution was carried out upon a royal decree.

The Saudi regime authorities seldom carries out the executions in an attempt to disguise its criminality, especially in the eyes of the western public opinion. saudi arabia executionsSaudiArabiaHumanRights

Enforced Disappearance: A Crime against Humanity Systematically Practiced by Saudi Arabia

August 31, 2021

Enforced Disappearance: A Crime against Humanity Systematically Practiced by Saudi Arabia

By the European Saudi Organization for Human Rights

On the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearance, which is commemorated every year on August 30, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stressed that, despite being “strictly prohibited by international human rights law in all circumstances, enforced disappearances continue to be used worldwide as a means of repression, intimidation and stifling opposition. Lawyers, witnesses, political opposition and human rights defenders are at particular risk of enforced disappearance,” he said. “This deprives families and communities of the right to know the truth about their loved ones, accountability, justice and reparations.”

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia practices enforced disappearance, on a large scale, especially against political detainees and opinion-makers through blatant circumvention and evasion. Most families of the victims are unaware of the fate of their relatives, after they have been detained on the street or in their workplaces, because they have been deprived the right to communicate with them and have no access to a lawyer.

In many cases, after a forced disappearance, that last for hours or days, officials at General Investigation Prisons allow the disappeared person a brief contact to inform his family of his whereabouts, only to return and disappear for periods lasting a year or more, during which he is tortured and denied the right to communicate with the outside world or access a lawyer.

In other cases, enforced disappearance extends without any information about the victim’s whereabouts or the reason for the arrest, for months or years. In light of Saudi Arabia’s intimidation policy against activists and human rights defenders.

The European-Saudi Organization for Human Rights documented the Saudi Arabian government’s use of enforced disappearance as a prelude to torture, extracting confessions, and in many cases the use of these confessions to issue death sentences.

Enforced disappearance is defined, according to the article II of the International Convention for the Protection of Persons from Enforced Disappearance, as “arrest, detention, abduction or any other form of deprivation of liberty by agents of the State or by persons or groups of individuals acting with the authorization, support or acquiescence of the State, followed by a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty or by concealment of the fate or whereabouts of the disappeared person, which deprives him of the protection of the law”.

During 2021, ESOHR monitored the practice of enforced disappearance by the security services against a number of detainees, including activists:

Abdullah al-Mubaraki:

On July 22, 2021, Al-Mabaheth forces arrested online activist Abdullah bin Awad al-Mubaraki from his home in Yanbu. The family does not officially know the reason for the arrest and news broke from the moment of the arrest. Despite attempts by the family to find out where he is, and to verify his whereabouts from the prisons of Yanbu, Medina and Jeddah, they have been unable to reach him. However, activists believe that the reason for his arrest stems from his expression of opinion, his participation in campaigns on social media to defend political and civil rights, and his opposition to government policies.

Lina al-Sharif

In late May 2021, officials from the Saudi State Security Presidency raided the Sharif family’s home in Riyadh, arresting Dr. Lina al-Sharif and taking her to an unknown location. Before her arrest, al-Sharif had been active on social media, discussing Saudi politics and defending human rights issues in Saudi Arabia.

Abdullah

On May 12, 2021, State Security forces arrested Abdullah Jilan, in Medina, after it stormed his mother’s house and searched him before taking him to an unknown location. Jilan was active on Twitter, calling for his right to work and fundamental freedoms in Saudi Arabia. So far, his fate and whereabouts remain unknown.

Najla Abd El-Aziz:

Saudi security forces arrested activist Najla Abdul Aziz Mohammed al-Marwan on July 20, 2021, from her home in the capital al-Riyadh. Najla is a young divorced woman and a mother of two children. According to reports, Saudi Arabia is still forcibly hiding her after more than a month in detention, and the family has no information about her.

Najla’s Twitter account shows that she welcomed and supported the call to demonstrate in conjunction with Arafa Day. A group of activists launched a hashtag called #Arafat_Day_protest, and called for participation in a campaign against the government’s policies and the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, with the goal of calling for the release of detainees, in addition to enabling young people’s right to employment, tax removal, and more.

ESOHR also monitored other arbitrary arrests. Local sources said victims were also subjected to enforced disappearance, including Sheikh Abdullah al-Shihri, who was arrested for tweets criticizing statements made by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. Among those reported missing are Reina Abdulaziz and Yasmine al-Ghafili.

Continuous Enforced Disappearances:

In addition, Saudi Arabia regularly hides individuals, with no information on their whereabouts for years.

In April 2016, preacher Suleiman al-Darwish disappeared during his visit to Mecca. His family does not know any details about the arrest or its reasons nor has it been officially informed of any information about his whereabouts. However, the Ministry of Interior posted his name on its website, which is dedicated to identifying the names and status of detainees. The statement indicated that he was “under investigation”, but his name was removed after a while.

Al-Darwish is still missing and despite the request from the UN Working Group on Enforced Disappearances for official information from Saudi Arabia on his whereabouts, his whereabouts remain unknown.”

Human rights organizations that received information in May 2012 confirmed to them that Al-Duwaish was transferred directly to the office of Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman after his arrest, where he beat him.

In August 2015, the Saudi government announced the arrest of Ahmad al-Mughassil in the Lebanese capital, Beirut. Since his arrest six years ago, the family has not been able to contact him or to know his whereabouts. Although Saudi Arabia announced the arrest, it did not announce where he was being held or the charges he is officially facing. Information the family received about the possible murder or death under torture raised concerns that the family could not get any information about his condition since his arrest.

In January 2020, Saudi security forces arrested Mohammed Al Ammar during a military raid in Qatif. The Saudi government announced the arrest of Ammar, who had been on wanted lists for years, but the family was unable to find out where he was, and they did not allow him any visits. In light of information about his severe injury during the arrest. Al-Ammar was not offered a trial, unless his whereabouts were known to be in enforced disappearance.

Hide as an introduction to unfair judgments:

Besides the cases in which individuals are still forcibly disappeared, detainees face harsh sentences, sometimes up to death, despite being subjected to enforced disappearance at the time of arrest. Among them is Mohammed Al-Shakhouri, who was forcibly disappeared by the Saudi government for three days after his arrest, and who was then able to communicate with his family in brief call, not being able to know what he was exposed to for eight months. The organization has also monitored executions of detainees including minors, despite violations there were subjected to including enforced disappearances, such as Abdelkrim al-Hawaj.

According to ESOHR, the Saudi government uses enforced disappearance for a variety of reasons. While in many cases concealment is used as a prelude to torture in order to extract confessions, it is used for reprisal motives that refuse to disclose definitively the status and location of the person forcibly disappeared and to intimidate the community and families.

The organization maintains that Saudi Arabia, through its practice of enforced disappearance, is committing a “crime against humanity” violating its domestic and international laws. And it recalls that no justification for the continuation of this crime can be invoked, as affirmed in the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance: “No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or the threat of war, internal political instability or any other exception, may be invoked to justify enforced disappearance.”

Raisi Lauds Yemeni People’s Steadfastness for 7 Years

August 25, 2021

Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen

In a response sent to Yemen Supreme Political Council President Mahdi al-Mashat, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi reiterates his country’s solidarity with the Yemeni people against the aggression.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Parliament, August 21st 2021
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in the Parliament, August 21, 2021

The Yemen Supreme Political Council President, Mahdi al-Mashat, received a thank-you letter from Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in reply to his congratulatory letter on his victory in the presidential elections.

Al-Masirah reported that the Iranian President lauded the steadfastness of the Yemeni people against the aggression for the 7th year in a row, stressing his country’s solidarity with the Yemeni people’s plight in their battle against the brutal blockade and acts of aggression. He also stressed his keenness on expanding the horizons of cooperation between the two brotherly countries and peoples in different fields, in service of their common interests.

The Iranian President had received, early this month, “Ansar Allah” Spokesperson Mohammad Abdul Salam, who headed the national Yemeni delegation. During the meeting, President Raisi said that the epic resistance and steadfastness the Yemeni people have embodied so far have astounded the world.

Raisi had declared in his inauguration speech on August 5 that his administration “will stand beside the oppressed wherever they may be, in Europe, America, Africa, Yemen, Syria, or Palestine.”

Saudi Rebellion against MBS’ Tyranny, Prosecution Being Prepared

 August 8, 2021

Saudi Rebellion against MBS’ Tyranny, Prosecution Being Prepared

By Staff

Some Saudi princes are willing to file lawsuits against the Saudi crown prince Mohammad Bin Salman in US courts after he has confiscated their money and arrested members of their families without defined charges.

Rights groups uncovered, according to “Saudi Wikleaks”, that some Saudi princes made contracts with American legal companies to prepare judicial lawsuits to be filed against the crown prince, pointing to that the transformations in American policy as Joe Biden came to power, have pushed them to discuss their issues with the US Congress.

According to the same sources, the Congress members pledged to support those affected by MBS’ policies at the White House and in any place across the United States.

This issue rises in parallel with an uprising by the family of late Saudi King Abdulla bin Abdul Aziz inside the kingdom, as a new challenge MBS has to face.

Although he has arrested his cousins, the family decided to push former National Guard Minister, Mutab bin Abdullah to the forefront again, by appointing him the Chief of Secretaries of “King Abdullah Humanitarian Institution.”

No information was provided about this choice, and the decision coincided with a social media campaign that demanded releasing three detained princes, Turki, Faisal, and Mashaal.

Turki has been detained by MBS since the end of 2017 as part of the “Ritz Carlton” purge, while his two brothers, Faisal and Mashaal have only been detained since a few months ago.

In the same context, other documents revealed secret rebellion on the side of some Saudi princes against MBS’ tyranny in dealing with them.

The documents showed that a number of the Al Saud princes, who have been detained after King Salman and his son took power, have signed contracts with an American lobby to influence the ruling regime.

The lobbying company is called “Mercury Public Affairs”, and aims at pushing the American and British governments, and the European Union, to learn the whereabouts of the members of the Saudi royal family.

Among them is former crown prince Mohammad Bin Nayef, and Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz.

“Mercury Public Affairs” has made contacts with members of the Congress to demand pressuring the Saudi government to learn whether the detained princes are alive or not, and to present a clear accusations list that explains the reasons behind detaining them, then to release those who are not charged and unfreeze their financial assets.

Saudi Arabia: Why Biden will leave Mohammed bin Salman in charge

Madawi al-Rasheed

2 July 2021 11:43 UTC 

Despite Biden’s rhetoric, American national interests are allied with those of the authoritarian crown prince in Riyadh

US President Joe Biden and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (AFP)

In the Middle East in general, and Saudi Arabia in particular, many activists and human right defenders hoped that newly elected US President Joe Biden would turn the page on the Trump era, when rulers in the region had carte blanche to continue their authoritarian practices and repressive measures.

Many hoped that Biden would exert pressure on the US’s most loyal Arab dictators to reverse the tide and respond to calls for democracy, ensure freedom of speech, and halt mass executions. 

It is unlikely that Biden will encourage his removal from office or openly challenge his abuse of human rights domestically

But in Riyadh, among other places, such unrealistic wishful thinking is beginning to be dashed. Realpolitik is settling in, to the demise of Washington’s reputation and its endless rhetoric about promoting democracy. 

American myths about the country’s own historical position as the leader of the free world, promoter of democratic values and protector of individual rights are always exposed in the Arab world at the hands of none other than its most loyal man in Riyadh. Indeed, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman continues his campaign of detentionsexecutions and surveillance, unchecked by Washington.

Biden slightly embarrassed the crown prince when his intelligence services published a four-page report that held the Saudi ruler responsible for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and placed several suspects on a list of sanctioned operatives. The crown prince himself was untouched by these superficial measures.

Loyal prince

Today, Biden and his advisers remain silent on the future of the Saudi crown prince. But American media and think tanks have been promoting his nemesis, former crown prince Mohammed bin Nayef, who has been placed under house arrest and allegedly suffered ill treatment. Ex-CIA officials want their partner in the war on terror back in the driving seat in Riyadh. 

How can Washington ignore its loyal prince, who allegedly helped save the lives of Americans as he shared intelligence with US security services, they ask. In this view, it’s an American betrayal of bin Nayef, who provided valuable information that helped to foil terrorist attacks on US soil.

Once the darling of the CIA, bin Nayef is now helpless without the US pushing for his release, let alone his rehabilitation, as its man in Riyadh. This sounds like a familiar story: use the man in Riyadh, then dump him when he faces his fate at the hands of his kinsmen.

Mohammed bin Nayef has been promoted by some as an alternative Saudi leader (AFP)
Mohammed bin Nayef has been promoted by some as an alternative Saudi leader (AFP)

In fact, Biden should resist calls to bring back the deposed prince, who never stopped using violence against peaceful activists and put them on trial in the terrorism courts that he established. Mohammed bin Nayef used the pretext of the war on terror to spread fear and torture. His most famous victims included founders of the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association – activists such as Abdullah al-Hamid, who died in prison, and Sulaiman al-Rashoudi. Activist Waleed Abu al-Khair remains in prison, alongside many others. 

Many of the men and women Mohammed bin Nayef put in prison have been subjected to solitary confinement. Perhaps the arrest of the former crown prince by the current crown prince fulfilled the hopes of those who suffered at his hands for years – but unfortunately, they had no power to arrest him, put him on trial or seek justice. 

Perverse revenge

In his own way, Mohammed bin Salman is punishing the deposed prince, but for different reasons. When the mafia fights its own battles within its own rank-and-file, the weakened society may achieve some perverse sense of revenge that is momentary and emotional. 

But both Mohammed bin Nayef and his empowered cousin, the crown prince, need to be put on trial for crimes against their own citizens. US intelligence services obviously want the devil they know, but many Saudis want justice for their lost sons and tortured relatives, who either linger in prison or have already been executed. Many of their corpses have yet to be returned to their relatives for proper burial. Biden must end Trump’s alliance with Mohammed bin Salman

Many of Mohammed bin Nayef’s old cronies and right-hand men are not only free, but have the gall to protest – among them Saad al-Jabri, who escaped to Canada and is now facing a court case for allegedly stealing billions of dollars when he was in charge of purchasing anti-terrorism and surveillance technology. The court case may shed new light on how the opaque and corrupt interior ministry conducted its affairs and plundered billions under the pretext of fighting terrorism. 

The day will come when the prosecutor, Mohammed bin Salman, will himself face a similar fate for his crimes against activists and dissidents. For now, the Biden administration remains silent on the crown prince’s present and future. It is unlikely that Biden will encourage his removal from office or openly challenge his abuse of human rights domestically. 

So far, Biden has a better record on pushing the crown prince to temper his adventurist foreign policies. It is easier for Biden to force him to seek reconciliation with Qatar, offer a peace treaty to Yemen’s Houthis, flirt with Iran via Iraq, and endear himself to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

But when it comes to political reforms, a muted US is neither willing nor able to see the merits of promoting a process that will eventually lead the kingdom on a path to democracy. At the moment, US national interests are allied with those of an authoritarian crown prince, so why rock the boat.  

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.

Madawi al-RasheedMadawi al-Rasheed is visiting professor at the Middle East Institute of the London School of Economics. She has written extensively on the Arabian Peninsula, Arab migration, globalisation, religious transnationalism and gender issues. You can follow her on Twitter: @MadawiDr

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Saudi Opp. Party: Kingdom May Execute More Military Personnel for Refusing to Participate in War on Yemen

Source

17/4/2021

Saudi Opp. Party: Kingdom May Execute More Military Personnel for Refusing to Participate in War on Yemen

Translated by Staff, National Assembly Party [NAAS]

A Saudi opposition party, the National Assembly Party [NAAS], has warned of more executions of Saudi soldiers for refusing to participate in the aggression against Yemen.

This came in a statement by the party after the Saudi authorities recently announced the execution of three soldiers fighting in Yemen on charges of high treason.

NAAS referred to the official and semi-official media campaigns that accompanied the execution, affirming its previous position on the necessity of ending this war.

It stressed that the war on Yemen “achieved nothing but losses for all parties, inflicted massive damage on our country and brotherly Yemen and claimed many innocent lives on both sides”. The statement added that the war brought Yemen to a state described by the United Nations as the greatest humanitarian crisis in the world, as Saudi Arabia’s vital facilities had been bombed, a number of soldiers had been killed and large numbers were seriously injured.

Furthermore, the party said that “with all these heavy losses, and in light of the continuation of this war and its mistakes and risks, the Saudi authorities surprised us by announcing the execution of the three soldiers”. NAAS went on to say that “the execution was carried out in complete ambiguity regarding the circumstances of the case, in complete absence of the conditions for fair trials as well as the competent court and the litigation procedures, and without the slightest level of transparency, and after 6 years since the war began”.

The party expressed fears of upcoming executions of other soldiers for their refusal to participate in the war, or their reluctance to bomb civilians or destroy the infrastructure in Yemen, or their rejection of the scorched earth policy that is pursued from time to time, or for other political reasons. NAAS added, “We mention again that this war, like all other hasty decisions, was not made by the people through their elected civilian institutions; it has not been taken by experts and officials of the military institutions; neither has there been a public referendum regarding it; and the people’s rejection of wars, especially with neighboring countries, has not been taken into consideration”.

The Saudi opposition party emphasized that the war was not the only thing that troubled the military personnel, but it has been preceded by a series of measures that harmed them and inflicted severe harm upon them.

The party added, “After the Saudi military had been complaining about poor salaries, a number of bonuses had been deducted recently without the slightest justification”.

It further said, “The weakness of health services, the difficulty of housing, and the rampant administrative corruption which may deprive the soldier from his furloughs or promotions due to administrative corruption or may subject him to unfair transfers and appointments that are not sensitive to circumstances, as well as selectiveness in appointments, transfers, courses and assignments, continue”.

The party shed light to “the removal of the housing services of some soldiers stationed on the fronts; forgetting, ignoring, and failing to treat some of the wounded in the fronts, including amputees, as well as arrests and indictments of those who express their opinion or legitimate demands”.

Bahrain’s “Jaw” and Saudi’s “Haer” Prisons: Coronavirus Threatens Detainees

8/4/2021

Bahrain’s “Jaw” and Saudi’s “Haer” Prisons: Coronavirus Threatens Detainees

By Staff

What is happening inside Saudi prisons is the same scenario Bahraini detainees are suffering from inside their county’s notorious “Jaw” Prisone due to the authorities’ negligence and denial of medical treatment while the Coronavirus spreads behind bars.

Political prisoners in Saudi Arabia’s “Haer” Prison, in the capital Riyadh, are suffering from Coronavirus symptoms while the prison’s administration denies them medical care.

In this regard, ‘al-Qist’ rights group pointed to reports about the Coronavirus outbreak in the section of political prisoners in “Haer” Prison, relating the reason behind the outbreak in the political section to denying vaccination to the detainees.

The group called on the Saudi regime authorities to guarantee the basic rights of political prisoners and providing them with healthcare, in addition to releasing them.

Earlier in August, a Twitter account belonging to “Political Prisoners” had reported the spread on the virus also inside the Dammam Political Prison.

In parallel, another rights campaign was launched on social media to release political prisoners inside the kingdom amid the outbreak, including the hashtag #BeforeTheCatastrophe, in an effort to rescue them and save their lives.

The campaign also aimed at pressuring for releasing all those who were arbitrarily detained before it is too late when the virus spreads inside cells.

Relatively, rights groups campaigned under another hashtag #DetaineesUnderCoronaDanger to demand the release of all political prisoners.

Saudi Crackdown: 521 Families Threatened With Displacement, Razing Houses in Qatif

Saudi Crackdown: 521 Families Threatened With Displacement, Razing Houses in Qatif

By Staff, Agencies

In the course of the ongoing crackdown against the kingdom’s Shia minority, the Saudi regime plans to displace hundreds of families in the Shia-majority eastern province of Qatif and raze their houses.

Nashet Qatifi, a renowned Saudi human rights activist, said in a post on his Twitter account that the Riyadh government had announced plans for the eviction of more than 521 families from Qatif within 90 days as well as the destruction of their houses in retaliation for their children’s participation in a 2011 anti-regime uprising.

Qatifi said the families had been offered a fee but did not intend to sell or move out of the area as the sum offered was not enough to buy a house.

Local sources in the Shia-majority region confirmed the Saudi plan and said the regime intended to displace hundreds of families from al-Thawra [Revolution] Street in the city center.

Reports said the goal of the Saudi regime was to erase any signs and memories of the demonstrations in 2011, especially al-Thawra Street, which had become a symbol of the revolution and protests in Qatif.

A similar incident took place in the al-Musawara neighborhood of Qatif in 2017, and many houses were destroyed by bulldozers. In November last year, Saudi officials also leveled to the ground a Shia Muslim mosque south of al-Awamia Town in Qatif.

Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province has been the scene of peaceful demonstrations since February 2011. Protesters have been demanding reforms, freedom of expression, the release of political prisoners, and an end to economic and religious discrimination against the oil-rich region.

The protests have been met with a heavy-handed crackdown by the regime, whose forces have ramped up measures across the province.

Ever since Mohammed bin Salman became Saudi Arabia’s de facto leader in 2017, the kingdom has ramped up arrests of activists, bloggers, intellectuals, and others perceived as political opponents, showing almost zero tolerance for dissent even in the face of international condemnations of the crackdown.

Muslim scholars have been executed, women’s rights campaigners have been put behind bars and tortured, and freedom of expression, association, and belief continue to be denied.

Al-Saud Retreat! Death Sentences for 3 Minors Commuted to 10 Years in Jail

Al-Saud Retreat! Death Sentences for 3 Minors Commuted to 10 Years in Jail

By Staff, Agencies

In the kingdom of death, death penalties given to three young protesters in Saudi Arabia when they were minors were commuted to ten years in Jail.

One of the prisoners, Ali al-Nimr, was sentenced to death in the country’s Eastern Province in February 2012 when he was 17 years old. He is the nephew of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, the famous Saudi cleric who had called for reforms and was executed by the Riyadh regime in January 2016.

The Specialized Criminal Court had sentenced to death Nimr along with Dawood al-Marhoun and Abdullah al-Zaher, 17 and 15, after they were arrested.

Saudi Arabia’s state-backed Human Rights Commission said on Sunday that Nimr’s sentence, who has served more than nine years in jail since his arrest, has been commuted, adding that the two others’ were commuted in November 2020.

In all three cases, it added, time served would apply and they are set to be freed in 2022.

“Freedom soon, God willing,” Nimr’s mother said in a Facebook post celebrating the news.

The death sentences of Nimr, Marhoun, Zaher and two other juvenile offenders have not been revoked yet.

Rights groups who follow the cases closely told Reuters in January that one of the five has appealed. Eight others originally detained as minors still face charges that could lead to their execution.

Anti-death penalty charity Reprieve says Riyadh should ensure the decree is applied to all juvenile offenders.

“True change isn’t about a few high-profile cases; it means making sure no-one is ever sentenced to death for a childhood ‘crime’ again in Saudi Arabia,” said Reprieve director Maya Foa.

According to a Saudi Human Rights Commission [HRC] report in January, Saudi Arabia executed a record 185 people in 2019; the regime reduced the number by 85% in 2020.

In a statement in October, Human Rights Watch called on Saudi Arabia to stop the imminent execution of eight men charged with activities related to a wave of anti-government protests while they were under the age of 18.

Al-Qatif, The Prey of the House of Saud

Al-Qatif, The Prey of the House of Saud

By Latifa Al-Housseiny

Beirut – Saudi authorities are continuing to pursue a relenting campaign of harassment against the Eastern Province in general and al-Qatif in particular despite having their past practices and arbitrary violations exposed.

A few weeks ago, the security services launched a direct assault on prominent religious clerics in Al-Qatif. The residents in the governorate are accustomed to the recklessness of the regime and its unjustified, illegal, and illogical arrests. Each time, the House of Saud reinforces the narrative that it’s the seed of oppression and tyranny and against justice and fairness.

Their routine about their supposed respect for human rights is comical. It doesn’t convince any party that advocates for international humanitarian standards or any organization that considers freedom of opinion and expression its goal and slogan.

According to sources from inside al-Qatif, the abrupt security operations against the people and prominent figures in the region appear never ending.

Speaking to al-Ahed News, the sources reported a number of recent arrests and incursions in al-Qatif and al-Ahsa. They documented around 33 operations involving safe houses and rest houses. Meanwhile, 34 arrests were made, including scholars as well as young men and women through checkpoints and mass summonses.

Our sources indicate that 35 prisoners were arbitrarily detained for purely political reasons. They were tried in secret without any details of their judicial sessions being made public. This as their relatives were deprived of any information that might reassure them and give them a clear picture of their fate inside the prison cells.

Three women are among these oppressed prisoners. They are housed in a detention center after security forces stormed their homes. One woman belongs to the Suleiman al-Dakhil family that hails from Tarout Island. The other two women are members of the Abdel-Al Al-Tarouti family that hails from the Umm al-Jazm neighborhood.

The religious scholars Sayyed Khader Al-Awami, Sheikh Abbas Al-Saeed, and Sayyed Hashem Al-Shakhs share the same fate. They were kidnapped in broad daylight, and ambiguity surrounds the reasons for their imprisonment and their situation. Only one thing is known – they are held in the Mabahith prison in Dammam.

As for the latest information regarding the Husseini orator Mohamed Boujbara, who was arrested along with 14 others for filming a video in Barr Al-Asfar in Al-Ahsa on the occasion of Arbaeen, our sources indicate that he was transferred to the Dammam prison.

One of the grimmer developments involves the demolition of the Imam Hussein [AS] Mosque in Al-Zara, south of Al-Awamiyah. Authorities tore down the mosque a few days ago.

The move is seen as a dangerous escalation that would be interpreted as an abhorrent targeting of everyone who raised their voices against the House of Saud, especially since martyr Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr led the prayers there and guided worshippers to truth and to ward off injustice.

So far, the daily incursions have affected 15 towns in the al-Qatif Governorate, resulting in an increase in the number of detainees to more than 200 from al-Awamiyah alone. This only portends the worst as long as the Saudi leadership ignores human rights appeals and is concerned only with stifling freedoms.

Saudi Arabia’s abominable human rights record

November 30, 2020 – 11:33

By Stephen Lendman

Stephen Lendman is an American award-winning author, syndicated columnist, and Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG).

Like the U.S., Israel, and other rogue states, the Saudis operate by their own rules in flagrant violation of international laws, norms, and standards. It’s the world’s head-chopping/public whippings capital. Anyone can be targeted for exercising free expression, human rights activism, or other forms of dissent against despotic rule.

They’re also vulnerable for not praying at designated times, improper dress code, non-observance of gender segregation, and other nonconformity with Wahhabi extremism.

Its documented high crimes include state-sponsored murder, torture, arbitrary arrests, and detentions, supporting ISIS and other terrorist groups, partnering in U.S. regional wars, banning free elections, denying due process and judicial fairness, prohibiting religious freedom, human trafficking, kidnappings, committing crimes of war and against humanity, along with virtually every other rule of law breach imaginable.

In mid-November, the London Daily Mail reported the following: “Saudi interrogators forced jailed women’s rights activists to perform sex acts, hung them from ceilings and ‘tortured’ them with electric shocks,” citing a report, titled: “A Stain on World Leaders and the G20 Summit in Saudi Arabia: The shameful detention and torture of Saudi women.”

The report explained that in May 2018, “10 human rights defenders who had successfully campaigned” to end the prohibition against women driving were arrested and detained. 

Weeks later, nine more arrests and detentions followed. Targeted individuals were activists for women’s rights in the kingdom. A few are males who support gender equality were also arrested. Most individuals targeted remain detained. It was learned that they were “subjected to torture, inhuman and degrading conditions of detention, solitary confinement, and unfair trial processes.”

In the report, human rights lawyer Baroness Helena Kennedy called on G20 nations to boycott the virtual November 21-22 Riyadh summit until wrongfully detained women are free. Other charges included forcing them to watch pornography, along with performing other sexual acts on interrogators.

One detained woman was reportedly told: “I’ll do whatever I like to you, and then I’ll dissolve you and flush you down the toilet.” Another woman said Saudi King Salman’s younger brother, Prince Khalid bin Salman, oversaw what went on, at one point saying:  “I can do anything I like to you.”

Commenting on her report, Baroness Kennedy said horrendous abuses endured by detained women in the kingdom wouldn’t be tolerated in “decent nation(s),” adding: “Being expected to deliver for interrogators, what that has done to the soul of a woman is so terrible.”

Saudi abuses against nonviolent activist women are typical of how their ruling authorities always operate — showing contempt for the rights of ordinary people, tolerating no dissent.

Crown prince Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) is the kingdom’s torturer assassin-in-chief. He personally signed off on the October 2018 brutal murder and dismemberment of Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate. In 2017, he arrested and detained hundreds of royal family members and Saudi businessmen. Held under house arrest at Riyadh’s Ritz-Carlton hotel, they were forced to pay tens or hundreds of billions of dollars in cash and assets to the regime for release — MBS grand theft on the phony pretext of rooting out corruption. 

He consolidated power by eliminating rivals and terrorizing potential ones. Royal family members, Saudi businessmen, and others in the kingdom not willing to affirm loyalty to his rule risk arrest, detention, torture, and elimination.

Since appointed crown prince in June 2017 — gaining power because his of father’s mental and physical deterioration — he’s ruthlessly gone all-out to solidify it unchallenged. He likely OK’s sexual and other torture of detained women activists.

UN secretary-general Guterres is largely silent about Western, Israeli and Saudi high crimes, serving their interests instead of condemning them. As long as Saudi Arabia is oil-rich, its wealth used to invest in Western countries and buy their weapons, as well as partnering in their regional wars, their ruling authorities will turn a blind eye to the worst of kingdom high crimes.
 

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Saudi Crackdown: Unabated Arbitrary Arrests, Oppression against People of Qatif

Saudi Crackdown: Unabated Arbitrary Arrests, Oppression against People of Qatif

By Staff

Out of the blue, without any reason, the Saudi regime security personnel detained religious scholars Sheikh Abbas al-Said and Sayyed Khodo al-Awami after raiding their homes in the town of Awamiah, in Saudi Arabia’s Qatif eastern province.

According to the Deputy Chief of the European Saudi Organization for Human Rights, Adel al-Said, who is the brother of Sheikh Abbas, the two detainees have been repeatedly investigated over the past ten years. However, their arrest was probably aimed at causing fear and terror among everybody.

In parallel, the Saudi regime authorities reported that Ashura mourning reciter Mohammad Bou Jbarah was transferred to the Dammam General Prison where he is set to be tried along with eight other youths who were arrested on October 4th for filming an artwork commemorating Imam Hussein’s [AS] Arbaeen anniversary.

According to Mirat al-Jazeera website, the nine men spent three weeks inside the Dammam Investigations Prison without being allowed any visit, and families and lawyers contacts.

The website also uncovered that the Saudi regime authorities are practicing a new arbitrary policy that violates the privacy of the released detainees, in which the prison’s administration chase them with electronic bracelets they have to wear so it can spy on them. This comes as a revenge for their endurance in front of the jailer, in which the regime insists to keep them under surveillance despite achieving their freedom.

Relatively, the Saudi regime sticks to violating the human rights of the people in Qatif and al-Ahsaa without any deterrence. It is also clinging to its dark record of torturing detainees behind bars and after their release to lay more sufferings upon them and increase their psychological stress via different invented and individual methods of taking revenge and practicing oppression.

رئيس نتفلكس: السعودية سمحت بعرض أفلام جنسية مقابل حذف حلقة تنتقد ابن سلمان بشدة

Under the Pretext of Coronavirus, Saudi Authorities Remove Ashura Flags in Qatif

Under the Pretext of Coronavirus, Saudi Authorities Remove Ashura Flags in Qatif

By Staff

As part of the continued security pressures practiced by the Saudi authorities against the people of Qatif while commemorating the Ashura mourning ceremonies, security forces removed all black Ashura flags raised in the Tarout Island graveyard.

The action represented a blatant provocation for the Ashura mourning organizers who, according to Qatif local sources speaking to al-Ahed, are subjected to unprecedented tightening under the pretext of the Coronavirus.

According to information obtained by al-Ahed, intelligence officers were granted ultimate authorities to intervene and impose their restrictions as part of the personal behavior and intervening in the details of the mourning ceremonies.

Donations made for supporting the ceremonies were totally banned. Additionally, names, contacts and civil records of the Ashura lecturers were collected by the authorities.

Local sources told al-Ahed that the authorities also prevented Ashura mourning organizers from raising the voice of mourning inside Husseiniyas and family gatherings.

The same sources added that the imposed measures were very strict and aimed at controlling all Ashura ceremonies.

Shia Muslims across the world commemorate the martyrdom anniversary of third Shia Imam Hussein bin Ali [AS] and his family members and companions who stood up to injustice and fought in the battle of Karbala in the year 61 Hijri. The ten-day commemoration begins on the first of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic year.

Amnesty Urges Saudi To Release Female Activists

Source

By Staff, Agencies

Amnesty Urges Saudi To Release Female Activists

Amnesty International called on Saudi Arabian authorities to immediately release women human rights activists, including those who are “being punished for daring to drive.”

The kingdom on Thursday marked the second anniversary of the end of the ban on women driving.

“It’s been almost two years since the Saudi authorities detained Loujain al-Hathloul, Iman al-Nafjan, Aziza al-Yousef, and a group of Saudi women activists simply for demanding equality and defending human rights in the kingdom,” the group’s UK chapter said in a statement.

“For the first three months of their detention, several of the women activists endured torture, physical abuse and other forms of ill-treatment when they were held incommunicado and in solitary confinement with no access to their families or lawyers.”

Up until June 24, 2018, Saudi Arabia had been the only country in the world to prevent women from driving, and even jailed some who defied the ban.

Amnesty UK has launched a “Beep for freedom” campaign in support of the persecuted women’s rights defenders.

The campaign involves supporters sharing photos of themselves behind the wheel of a car or sharing the campaign’s “Beep for Freedom” car horn symbol, with an appeal to the Saudi authorities to “immediately and unconditionally” release the activists and drop all charges against them.

Dissidents in the conservative country are often arbitrarily detained without charge or trial.

Leading Saudi Activist Dies in Detention: Amnesty International

Leading Saudi Activist Dies in Detention: Amnesty International

By Staff, Agencies

A leading activist serving an 11-year prison sentence has died in detention in Saudi Arabia, Amnesty International said, highlighting the kingdom’s human rights record.

Abdullah al-Hamid, 69, died after a stroke in his prison cell earlier this month, according to multiple rights groups, including Amnesty International.

“Dr. Hamid was a fearless champion for human rights in Saudi Arabia,” said Lynn Maalouf, Middle East research director at Amnesty.

“Our thoughts are with his family and friends, who for the past eight years had been deprived of his presence as a result of the state’s inhumane repression.”

“He, and all other prisoners of conscience in Saudi Arabia, should never have been in jail in the first place,” Maalouf added.

Hamid was a founding member of the rights group the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association [ACPRA] and was sentenced to prison in March 2013, the rights groups said.

He faced multiple charges, including “breaking allegiance” to the Saudi ruler, “inciting disorder” and seeking to disrupt state security, Amnesty explained.

Other ACPRA members have also been imprisoned in the past, including another co-founder, Mohammad al-Qahtani, who was jailed for 10 years in 2013, Amnesty said.

Saudi Arabia has long faced international criticism over its human rights record. That criticism has grown since Mohammed bin Salman was named crown prince and heir to the Saudi throne in June 2017.

The murder of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018 and the increased repression of dissidents have overshadowed so-called efforts by the prince to modernize the economy and society.

“ISIS Has Nothing Over Saudi Arabia”: Kingdom Reaches 800 Beheadings Under Salman

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by Tyler Durden

Thu, 04/23/2020 – 22:45

Another grim milestone was reached this week, but not on the COVID-19 front. Human rights monitors have recorded that Saudi Arabia has carried out its 800th execution since King Salman bin Abdulaziz (and by extension MbS) began his rule five years ago — most being in the form of the kingdom’s ‘favored’ beheadings.

The British nonprofit Reprieve said the kingdom’s rate of execution in Saudi Arabia has doubled since 2015 when King Salman took over following the death of his half-brother, King Abdullah. Of course, as Salman’s health was reportedly increasingly fragile from the start of his rule, it’s widely believed crown prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) has remained the true power and day-to-day decision maker.

King Salman attending a 2016 ‘sword dance’ ceremony, via Saudi Gazette.

MbS was widely hailed as a ‘reformer’ – among other things promising to greatly reduce the number of annual executions, which include the ghastly methods of beheading and crucifixion. But this is nowhere near the reality.

So much for empty talk of ‘reform’, ‘modernization’ and ‘progress’ – as Middle East Eye reports of Reprieve’s findings:

By comparison, Saudi authorities executed 423 people between 2009 and 2014.

Currently, there are at least 13 juvenile defendants on death row – including Ali al-Nimr, Dawood al-Marhoon and Abdullah al-Zaher – who are “at imminent risk of execution”, Reprieve and the European Saudi Organisation for Human Rights said.

Saudi Arabia executed six young men last year who were children at the time of their alleged offences, in a mass execution of 37 people. 

Riyadh’s concerns no doubt now lie far elsewhere regarding the prior MbS rhetoric of reform, given the kingdom is now scrambling to bring oil prices back up after the historic global price crash this week. 

Reform vs. Reality — public beheadings as a form of political suppression: 

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Apparently ‘Chop Chop Square’ was busy as usual even amid the more pressing crisis of the accelerating oil glut. As of only last week, Amnesty International recorded 789 executions under the king, which only days later grew to 800.

As one Newsweek headline years ago aptly observed“when it comes to beheadings, ISIS has nothing over Saudi Arabia.”

Amnesty International Calls on Saudi Authorities to Release Prisoner of Conscience Has Been in A Coma

Source

2020-04-19


Amnesty International called on The Saudi Arabian authorities must immediately release Dr Abdullah al-Hamid, a prisoner of conscience who remains detained despite being in coma and in critical condition early April.

“It is heartbreakingly cruel that Dr Abdullah al-Hamid remains in detention, even while in a coma,” said Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Middle East Research Director. “Dr al-Hamid, and all other prisoners of conscience in Saudi Arabia, should never have been in jail in the first place. All those imprisoned solely for peacefully exercising their human rights must be immediately and unconditionally released.

The organization also called on the authorities to consider taking into account the immediate release of elderly prisoners, thoe with current health conditions, who are still at risk of contracting Covid-19, as well as all who are still awaiting trial.

In March 2012, Dr al-Hamid and Mohammad al-Qahtani were arrested and interrogated regarding their work with ACPRA and their peaceful activism. In March 2013, they were sentenced to 11 and 10 years in prison respectively, on charges of “breaking allegiance to the ruler”, “questioning the integrity of officials”, “seeking to disrupt security and inciting disorder by calling for demonstrations”, and “instigating international organizations against the Kingdom”.

Dr. Abdullah Al-Hamid, a prominent human rights activist, is serving a 11-year prison sentence for his peaceful activity and suffering from high blood pressure. The doctor told him, three months ago, that he needed to have heart surgery in the coming months, and prison authorities have threatened him that if he is told His family, on his health, will cut his contact with his family, and among the prisoners of conscience still in detention in the Kingdom are many prominent women’s rights activists, including Lujain al-Hathloul.

It is reported that conditions in many of Saudi Arabia’s overcrowded prisons, like its counterpart in Bahrain, greatly increase the risk of the spread of Covid-19 virus. Amnesty International has previously expressed concern about the authorities’ failure to provide adequate medical care in the country’s prisons.

Executions Double In Saudi Arabia under King Salman

Executions Double In Saudi Arabia under King Salman

By Staff, Agencies

Saudi Arabia carried out its 800th execution last week, marking an almost two-fold increase in the use of the medieval practice since King Salman assumed power in 2015, a rights group warned.

Reprieve, a UK-based non-profit organization, alarmed in a report on Tuesday that the Riyadh regime last week beheaded Abdulmohsin Humood Abdullah al-Ghamdi, a national accused of committing murder, marking the 800th execution in the Arab country since Salman assumed power in January 2015, following the death of his half-brother, King Abdullah.

The report said that executions had almost doubled in just five years in comparison with the 423 executions conducted in Saudi Arabia from 2009 through 2014.

Reprieve added that the Saudi regime had executed 186 people in 2019 alone, 37 of whom were killed in one mass execution on April 23 last year. It said six of the men beheaded during the mass execution had been juveniles at the time of their purported offenses.

Of those who had been executed in 2019, at least 58 people were foreign nationals targeted for preaching Shia Islam, which the Saudi regime considers a crime, the report said, adding that others were executed last year for allegedly participating in or inciting political demonstrations.

Reprieve also criticized Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, who is regarded as the de facto ruler of the kingdom, for not keeping his word to limit the number of executions as part of what he initially claimed would be “reforms” in the highly-conservative kingdom. “The reality is far from that statement,” Reprieve said.

According to the report, the increase in the number of executions during the past five years is partly due to the number of people accused of politically-motivated crimes under Salman.

“For all the rhetoric of reform and modernization, Saudi Arabia is still a country where speaking out against the king can get you killed,” said director of Reprieve, Maya Foa.

In January 2016, Saudi authorities executed Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, who was an outspoken critic of the Riyadh regime, along with 46 other men on “terrorism” charges.

Saudi Arabia has stepped up the politically-motivated arrest, prosecution, and conviction of peaceful dissident writers and human rights campaigners, particularly in the country’s Shia-populated Eastern Province.

Over the past years, Riyadh has also redefined its anti-terrorism laws to target activism.

Citizens of Saudi Arabia Pay their Lives as MBS Advances in His NEOM City

By Staff

The Saudi regime is sending its police to besiege its own citizens, then force them out of their houses to remain homeless, landless and even lifeless.

Citizens of Saudi Arabia Pay their Lives as MBS Advances in His NEOM City

One example is Saudi citizen Ahmed Mahmoud al-Huwaiti, alias “Abu Anas”. The man, who belongs to the al-Huwaitat tribe, which lives in the village of al-Khraibah northern Medina, was killed in daylight by the Saudi regime’s police, while he was documenting his last moments using his phone’s camera. The deceased man was besieged inside his home as he refused to leave his land.

“Abu Anas” has published, before the police killed him, several videos that expose the criminal acts. He also expected that he will be killed by the police, and he has lamented his own self before he was martyred.

Displacement is a suffering that has long been randomly imposed by the Saudi authorities against the people they select upon their preferences. This often forces others to obey any rule not to face a similar fate. It also widens the gap between the state and the citizens with every such attack.

It was reported by “Anu Anas” shortly before his death that any citizen who doesn’t hand his house will be forcibly dealt with by the intelligence and emergency forces.

The man, who possesses a legitimate instrument that shows his ownership of the house and the land near it, has repeatedly warned of similar acts.

People of that area are forced to evacuate their shelters as part of the implementation of Saudi crown prince Mohammad Bin Salman’s [MBS] so-called NEOM project.

ISRAELI COMPANIES TALKING TO SAUDI ARABIA ABOUT $500B. 'SMART CITY'
ISRAELI COMPANIES TALKING TO SAUDI ARABIA ABOUT $500B. ‘SMART CITY’

In the course of implementing NEOM, MBS is displacing original landowners to build the city he has announced. MBS’ city stretches over the Saudi kingdom’s northwestern area, and includes lands inside Egyptian and Jordanian borders.

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